What struck me first is that it really does not look like a Pelikan! Even the clip is not the Pelikan beak. The Pelikan logo is in a small black circle at the top of the cap, and the word "Pelikan" in all caps are embossed in the area under the clip. From the photographs alone, I could understand where the name came from, as the cap of the pen is shaped like a Pharaoh's head dress. It looks elegant and understated, and not at all cheap. In the photo is looks a lot shinier than in person. To give you an idea, in person the Pharo looks a lot like the chrome-finish of the VP without the lacquer coating and with a much, much finer texture. The pen feels smooth as silk when I run the pads of my fingers over it.
Appearance and Finish: 5/5
Its body is made entirely out of metal, and it has a matte finish. The clip is made of the same material as the barrel and cap of the pen, and the lines are very clean and very simple. Nothing at all shiny or showy about it. At first I was worried that the fine matte finish might show scuff marks from posting, but upon close inspection I found just one short slightly shiny mark, barely noticeable. From the placement of the mark, I could see that it did not come from posting, though, and after I did post, I looked carefully to check for marks and there were none. I think it's safe to say that it's a rather durable finish. This can be a good everyday pen for either male or female users, and can work with any color ink. Since the pen itself is so simple, really colorful inks like Fireball or Pinkly or Orange Crush can definitely make for a startling contrast! I'm not sure for sure whether or not red inks would stain the pen, and I'm assuming that the metal would stand well against stains, but I am not about to try it out!
The pen is five and a half inches long when capped, five inches long when uncapped, and a little over six inches long when posted. The pen is less than half an inch in diameter so it would fit in small hands and big. Being made of metal, though, and with the cap having presumably higher metal conent than the thin barrel, the pen is rather heavy when posted, but just right in my hand when unposted. Although I expected the pen to be on the heavy side because QM2 already said it was made of aluminum, it wasn't as heavy as I imagined. It's almost just as heavy as my chrome Sheaffer Imperial. The section is very short and unscrews from the barrel to show a short black plastic little sleeve that I assume is supposed to coddle the cartridge's end more securely, because the threaded part of the nib section is rather short. I bought the pen with a converter that QM2 used for it, and it works well. When I screw the section in, I hear something like a spring inside; I think this spring is supposed to keep the catridge further in place. It looks rather modern for a pen that is alluding to an icon of antiquity, and I like it. The old technology - new make - old icon - new incarnation mix all come together in a very understated design.
Nib Design and Performance: 4/5
The nib is shiny steel and has no label as to its size, but I am assuming that it is a medium, because it writes almost exactly the same as my M205 with a medium steel nib. It writes on the dry side, but so does my M205. Writing is drier with the more saturated inks like Visconti and Omas, and wetter with the Waterman, as expected. The nib writes smoothly but just a teeny tiny bit of tooth, which I prefer. I don't notice any flex, but it sure does not write like a nail either. The nib's body is a little wider than that of my M205, and bears only the Pelikan logo.
Filling System: 4/5
Unlike most Pelikans I know, the Pharo is a c/c filler. All writeups about the pen say that it is cartridge-fill only, and standard sale does not include a converter, but QM2 was able to find a rather large-capacity coverter to use with it. It works flawlessly! Most of the points go to the capacity and performance of the converter.
I paid $33 for the pen, which includes the converter. Considering the workmanship of the pen, and that it's now rather hard to find, it's definitely a good buy. And may I add, I also got a new friend and penpal out of the sale. (FPNers are so nice to buy from since they send lovely hand-written notes on fabulous stationery with the pen.) Add the friendship factor, and the pen becomes priceless.
I'm happy with this pen. I recommend this to anyone looking for a reliable pen for everyday use. The heft can take some getting used to for those who are so used to lighter pens, but it needs only a couple of hours of writing to get to appreciate the feel of having something substantial in your hands. It looks really nice, it writes very nicely, and if you can find it, it's a nice pen to add to any collection.
Edited for missing words.
Edited by maryannemoll, 09 June 2007 - 14:55.